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Static Application Security Testing


What is Static Application Security Testing [SAST]?

Static Application Security Testing (SAST) is a vulnerability scanning technique focusing on source code, bytecode, or assembly code. In general, static program analysis recommends program behavior by analyzing its source code without running it.

The code is the focus of static application security testing (SAST). It runs early in the CI pipeline and scans the source code, bytecode, or binary code for coding patterns that violate best practices and may cause problems. SAST tools are designed to assist developers in writing more secure code by detecting suspicious builds, unsafe API usage, and dangerous runtime errors early on.

SAST tools scan your code for security flaws, such as saving passwords in plain text or transmitting data over an unencrypted connection. They then compare it to best practices standards to recommend how to fix it.

Privacy, Data Security, and SAST

Data protection laws require data privacy must be integrated into the system from beginning to end.

This is known as "Privacy by Design," It is a legal requirement under the GDPR (GDPR Article 25) for you to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to enforce data protection principles and effectively protect individual rights.

The Privacy by Design approach emphasizes proactive rather than reactive measures. This entails foreseeing and preventing breaches of confidentiality before they occur and taking action rather than waiting for privacy threats to manifest.

Fair, transparent, and lawful processing are the cornerstones of data protection laws, and any vulnerabilities in your code during or after production can jeopardize the standards of these principles. Static analysis can be a very effective tool for "baking" data protection into your processing activities and business applications from the beginning of the design process. It ensures that the system is powerful to begin with.

This is why Static Application Security Testing can be used not just as a way to test software but also to ensure it is safe and protected by design. 

However, static analysis techniques differ; not all test the same things in the system. You can create rules that ensure software builds are safe and use static analysis as an accurate preventative measure during code analysis with the right static analysis technique.

With Static Application Security Testing (SAST), you can identify problems before anything is checked out during the development phase. SAST can run on source code; it can pinpoint the exact location of a vulnerability. This increases the effectiveness of finding and fixing them. 

Since SAST tools apply all of their rules to your codebase, which depends on vast guidelines database, they can detect security vulnerabilities you didn't even know existed.

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